Many home buyers forget that the process involves more than touring listings, making an offer and closing the deal. Especially if you’re buying your first home, the excitement that comes with the purchase may cause you to overlook other important steps. You will likely feel confused if you try to tackle these on your own. To provide clarity and protection, you will want to have an attorney’s guidance along the way.

Clarifying contracts

After you make an offer on a home and have it accepted, the terms of your transaction will be set forth in a purchase and sale agreement. Before signing the agreement, you will want to make sure it is sound. A real estate attorney will know what details and errors to look for and can make changes to its terms on your behalf. They will then negotiate these changes with the seller’s attorney.

Performing title searches

The due diligence phase of home buying happens before the closing. During this period, you will need to perform a title search on the property, which will make sure there that there are no defects – like liens or unpaid taxes – that would prevent you from purchasing it. Because title searches involve combing through public records, you will want your attorney to conduct yours for you. It is likely that your attorney will finish the search faster than you would, and they could catch details that you may miss. If any defects arise, your attorney can then work with the appropriate parties to fix these.

To perform a title search, you must acquire title insurance on the property. This insurance will protect your mortgage lender against any possible defects, and your attorney will help you purchase it.

Assisting at closing

Massachusetts is among the states that require the presence of an attorney at real estate closings. During the process, yours will be crucial in helping you understand all the documents you must sign and the closing costs you must pay. And they will also make sure that the transfer of the home’s deed from the seller to you is valid and binding. Your attorney can also work with you to make sure the terms of your closing disclosure are accurate. This document – which you will receive within three business days of your closing – details the terms of your mortgage loan, which are crucial to have in order ahead of time.